Final Fantasy - All Series Fan Fiction ❯ Rage of the Wolf-Lord ❯ Circumstances ( Chapter 1 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Disclaimer: I own everything but the characters and some places/ideas…dammit…
Ten-year-old Cloud Strife ran through the forest as fast as his little legs could carry him, zigzagging through the trees, trying to keep the baby Zuu off his tail for a little longer.
Finally reaching the clearing he was running for, Cloud ran straight to his father and jumped behind him, squeaking out a `help' as he fell flat on his butt.
His father looked from him to the other side of the clearing shaking his head and making `shoo' motions with his hands and giving a loud roar. The startled Zuu turned tail and flew off back into the forest.
Turning to his panting son, he chuckled.
“What happened?” he asked, crossing his arms against his chest and raising an eyebrow.
Cloud looked up at his father sheepishly. “I was just running along the hidden mountain trails, and I slipped a little. I kinda stumbled onto its nest just a little bit. I didn't really ask for it to chase me!”
Reaching his hand up to his father's extended one, Cloud pouted. “Don't laugh at me!”
Ruffling the spiky blond locks on top of his son's head, he nodded. “Of course not. I would never-“
“Cloud! Thrasir! Lunchtime!”
Cloud looked up into his fathers face. “Last one there has to tell me a story!” At that, Cloud took off at a sprint, pulling out in front of his flabbergasted father.
“Wha-? Hey, what if I win?” Thrasir yelled back as he chased after Cloud. “Drifa, don't let him win! Catch him! I don't wanna tell a story!”
By the time he sat down at the table, all was lost. Thrasir hung his head in dejection, smiling behind his hair. “How could I let this little punk beat me? Am I really getting so old?”
Cloud jumped up from his seat and ran to his father. “No, you can't get old! That's means I'll get old! I don't wanna be old!”
Barking out a laugh, Thrasir ruffled his hair again, then looked towards his wife. Drifa was busy setting plates down on the table, full of sandwiches and fruits.
Cloud whooped in glee as he grabbed his plate, shoving an apple piece down his gullet. Finishing his meal in record time, Cloud looked expectantly at his father.
Thrasir gave him a confused look. “What?”
“A story!” Cloud yelled. “You lost, you owe me a story!”
“Alright, alright. Don't get your fur all mussed.” Looking towards Drifa, he contemplated what story to tell. “Have I ever told you about the Great Wolf and his thrir?”
Cloud shook his head in the negative. Drifa nodded in acknowledgment of the telling about to commence as she settled down next to Cloud.
“Well, let's see, where to begin…”
The Great Wolf had been pinned to a rock by nothing more than a silk ribbon. A long, magic-imbued silk ribbon, but a silk ribbon all the same. By his own relative, no less.
His nephew had taken a liking for global domination, wanting to power over everything, so he had taken to telling tales of how the Great Wolf would one day turn on everyone, and destroy all with his awesome power.
You see, the Great Wolf was the greatest of animals, and had the power to speak to all of them. He also had enormous strength, and just leaning against a tree from the Northern lands toppled it. He was cunning, and wise, and stealthy. And he had the support of all the creatures on the Planet.
But the Terrible One was resentful of the greatness the Great Wolf had, and coveted it for himself.
The Terrible One sent out one of his own, the Annoying One, to find something that would bind the Great Wolf. And like the usually naïve creature he was, the Great Wolf allowed the test to see if the binding worked to be used upon himself. The unknowing Sacred One bound him, using Gleipner, the magically made silken binding, and secured Gleipner with Gelgja, the chain of a thousand strengths, to a boulder.
When the Great Wolf tested the bonds, he agreed that even he couldn't break out of them. Dead Eater, Guardian of the Gates, and Shadow's Mistress stood next to him, as they agreed to protect him if anything should go wrong, for they were the greatest of partners, and were sworn to each other.
But the Terrible One said that the binding was to remain, that the people of the mortal realm, and the people of the upper realm all feared him, and that he was of ill intent to them, for he was standoffish, and didn't associate with others greatly. And when the Great Wolf looked around at all of his supposed friends and family, only his thrir and the Sacred One were with him.
And so the Great Wolf was locked away for the end of time, For the Terrible One had the Deceiver place a seal upon the Gleipner and Gelgja, so they may never be removed until death.
The Sacred One decided to travel, to seek out a method in which to release the Great Wolf, but one was never found.
The thrir remained by his side, only leaving for the occasional hunt and information collection.
But the Great Wolf was desolate, and over time withdrew from eating, and then from living. And so the Great Wolf died bound in a barren wasteland to a monolith that had been his place of rest for centuries, and has yet to be reunited to his partners and lovers of the thrir.
“And that is the story of the Great Wolf.” Thrasir cleared his throat and reached for his cup of water.
Cloud looked up into his father's eyes, tears glistening in the corner of his own, and burst out. “Poor wolf. He suffered terribly! And just cuz his stupid nephew was jealous.”
Drifa smiled gently at Cloud, rubbing his neck gently. “And that is why, when you make friends, you must treat them with respect, and hide your strength from them until you know that they are worthy of all of you.”
Cloud nodded furiously. “Yes Mama!”
Swiping his wrist across his eyes, he dried them quickly. “Can I go back out side now?”
Drifa smiled. “Of course dear. Just try to stay out of trouble for the rest of the afternoon please.”
Cloud hurriedly jumped out of his seat, and ran out the door, back into the forest he was just recently chased out of.
Drifa and Thrasir exchanged a look of understanding. “I'll always love you.”
“And I you.”
Cloud was running around on the Gorge again, spelunking through shallow caves and playing with the young Nifl wolf cubs when he came across them.
His most recent endeavor had him sitting in the middle of a litter of six cubs, and the few adults around that watched over them. The cubs were crawling all over him, trying to climb as high as they could, his hair the prize.
He didn't realize how late it was until he looked outside, realizing that the cave was getting darker. Standing after he removed the cubs, he moved to leave.
Gripping his head in pain, images floated across his eyes as pictures clicked and stories made a little more sense. Memories flooded his brain, his mother and father before he was born, his father known as Bolthorn, his mother as Skadi.
And he knew now without a doubt that President Shinra was his nephew. Even amidst the pain, he couldn't help but shudder at the mere thought of being related to that man.
More images passed, a beautiful green-eyed girl in a garden, a jovial boy with violet eyes, and a ferocious silver-haired boy. The images moved, looking straight at him, as if he were there in front of each of them.
Another boy, another blonde, but with dull blue eyes, looked at him as well, and grinned fiercely. Then he nodded.
This time a vision passed through his head. His parents screaming as they were burned alive, villagers standing outside the hut, making sure they couldn't escape. His mother reaching for the loose floorboard, as if pointing it out, before she collapsed onto the floor, eyes glazed over, blood gushing out from a large head wound.
His father dragged himself over to her, one arm missing, and a leg seemingly crooked, and a hole the size of Cloud's fist gaping through his spine. Leaning slightly on top of wife, he held her as they died, pain engraved on their faces eternally in his mind..
Only one thing could penetrate his mind. His parents were dead, and all they left behind was his soul's name. Howling his pain to the skies, he passed out surrounded by the only family he had left.
Cloud awoke to whines and whimpers in his ears, slobber and drool dripping off his face, and a headache the size of the Nifl mountain range. Sitting up and wiping his face off, he gathered his wits about him. He would need them if he was going to make it back to what was left of his house undetected.
Reaching his senses out, he sent a desperate mental plea to any person or creature that would help him.
Two Nifl wolves bled out of the darkness moments later, both of their shoulders reaching his head. He bowed low, thanking them for their assistance.
“I am titled Thytr. I will follow where you ask.” The taller of the two stepped forward. The only differences between Thytr and the other was that Thytr was male, and his ears were tipped in white.
“I am titled Myrkr. I will follow were you ask.” The female might have been smaller, but she looked like she would protect any of her pack to the death. The opposition's death.
Both of their eyes were gold, with only smallish hints of green floating in them.
“I am titled Cloud.” Cloud replied. Both wolves tilted their head majestically in acknowledgment.
Thytr knelt down. “Sit on my back, and we will take you to your former den.”
Cloud scrambled onto Thytr's back, sinking his fingers into the thick ruff so he wouldn't fall off. Standing up, Thytr moved slowly to let Cloud get accustomed to his movements, then took off in a surging leap.
Cloud almost smiled from exhilaration of the run, until he remembered where he was headed and why.
Thytr and Myrkr slunk around the dense undergrowth near the clearing, looking for any townsfolk left behind.
“The way is clear. None of the humans are here.” Myrkr stated as she rounded the clearing back to them.
Cloud slid off of Thytr's back, slowly walking towards what remained of his home for ten years. Carefully placing his feet at the most stable spots, he made his way into the house. Walking to the middle of the room where his parents had fallen, he noticed rather quickly that their bodies were gone.
A flash of and sad smile and somber verdant eyes, and Cloud had to shake his head at the vision, kneeling onto the floor.
Reaching his hands down, he felt for any little catch or loose spot he could use to pry up the floor with.
Finally finding a loose spot, he pried the wood up and looked inside. A long silk cord was inside, `Gleipner' his mind supplied, along with a book of memories looking as ancient as his soul was, a leather pouch full of gil, and a small bag full of materia.
Pulling everything out of the niche in the floor, Cloud stood and walked out of the ruins. There would be enough time to study these away from here, at the cave he had been found at. For now he needed to get away from the villagers.
Dropping off of Thytr's back once again, Cloud huddled into the middle of the cubs and adults that had returned. Thanking Thytr and Myrkr once again, he opened the bag he found on the way out of his ruined home and pulled out the bag of material.
Rolling them out of the bag, he picked one up. The faint green shine it had was pretty, but he really didn't know how to use magic at the moment. Staring hard at it, he tried to concentrate to see if he could tell what kind it is.
“A Master Magic, and it feels like it's full, or maybe leveled out.” He lightened his gaze and just looked at it. “Hmm.”
He placed it on his lap and reached for a second one. As he picked up a blue one, the green one vanished in a flash of light. Yelping in surprise, he looked around the ground at his legs, trying to find the suddenly gone globe. A green glow at his left thigh caught his attention, and he focused on it.
“It seems to have merged into your skin,” Myrkr stated. “I think it likes you.”
Cloud's giggle was slightly hysterical, but he decided to ignore it for now, and turned to the rest of the materia. The blue sphere was a `all' materia, and it also felt `full'. Placing it down next to his left thigh, his eyes widened in surprise as it also vanished, but inro his left arm instead.
“I think they all might like you.” Thytr dryly stated.
“Um, you might be right.” Cloud grabbed the remaining three stones. One was blue, one was red, and the other was purple.
The blue one was a Quadra Magic. It decided it wanted his right leg. The purple one was a Speed Plus, and suddenly his right arm was full of materia as well. The red was a Master Summon, and it thought his chest was the best place to delve into.
“This is ridiculous! Why is materia attaching itself to me?” Cloud looked at the wolves for any help at all. “Am I a freaking magnet, now?!”
Thytr made a coughing-bark sound. Cloud narrowed his eyes at him. “You're laughing at me! Not funny.”
Myrkr paced over to Cloud and laid down next to him, “Why don't you sleep the rest of the night away. We will look through the rest of your things tomorrow. Sleep, you have had a long day.”
Cloud yawned, dispelling any thought he had of refusing, Laying down next to Myrkr, he nestled into her soft fur and instantly fell asleep.